Argentina: Teachers strike to defend public education

A strike and massive street protest on March 22 by Argentine school teachers defended public schools while calling for higher wages.

The protest came a day after President Mauricio Macri made disparaging comment about the country's public education system. 

The teachers’ union campaign for a pay rise began on March 6 with a 48-hour strike. 

The unions are demanding a 35% pay rise to help keep up with inflation, which was 40% last year and is expected to be about 20% in 2017, and a guarantee that no education worker will make less than the poverty line.

The demand comes after the Macri government legislated a ceiling of 20% salary rises, despite an inflation rate of 40%, which has pushed 1.4 million people, including many education workers, into poverty.

A poll released on March 19 showed that for the first time since he took office in December 2015, more Argentines disapprove of Macri's performance than approve, while the country's largest labour union has called a general strike for April 6. 

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]

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